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How Does Conan Doyle Build Suspense In ‘the Speckled Band’?

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Introduction

HOW DOES CONAN DOYLE BUILD SUSPENSE IN 'THE SPECKLED BAND'? 'The adventure of the speckled band is suspense/horror story written by sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Conan Doyle creates suspense in his story by the use of pathetic fallacy and deliberately making you feel unsure or anxious about what will happen next. He does this by creating mysterious settings, use of strange characters and providing hints. This makes us want to read on but does not give away the story until the end. Dr Watson, a friend of Sherlock Holmes is the narrator of the story. Dr Watson refers in the opening paragraph to Sherlock Holmes last 70 cases that he had gone through but this is the most memorable story of them all, so this first gets us interested in the story. By Dr Watson referring about the last 70 cases we wonder, why is this story so good? Therefore it makes us want to read on. Dr Watson mentions 'un untimely death of a lady,' which suggests that a woman had died when she was not suppose to, which creates tension and makes us want to read on. ...read more.

Middle

he has at the moment a cheetah and baboon' This is very unusual and shows that he is not normal. He asolated himself from overs and locked himself in his room all day. He is compared to a beast. Helen Stoner, who is the twin of the victim and also the step daugther of Dr Roylott, described him to Shelock Holmes. She said, "He beat his native butler to death" and "he is a man of immense strenght, and absolutely uncontrollable in anger. "Dr Roylott is a wicked man. He had killed people and had a hot temper. He is a very odd man". This creates suspense and make us want to read on and also have sympathy over Helen Stoner because her life is in danger. The atmosphere before Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson arrives at the stoke Moran, the house of Dr Grimsby Roylott and Helen Stoner, is that of a lovely day. 'There is a bright sun and a few fleecy clouds in the heaven, it also describes the journey toward the house was a beautiful scenery in the Surrey lanes. ...read more.

Conclusion

This again creates an atmosphere of fear and keeps the reader on his toes. The Vigil kept by Holmes and Watson is described as 'dreadful' '...how shall I ever forget that dreadful vigil...' this is the author's use of a rhetorical question. The word 'vigil' and 'nervous tension' gives the impression of something is going to happen. This creates suspense for the reader and makes him want to read on. The author's use of the words 'the least ray of light' gives the impression that from darkness it is now complete darkness. This is emphasised by 'waited in absolute darkness' the reader now can imagine complete silence and waiting for something to happen. Also the author's use of technique 'twelve struck, and one and two and three' emphasises the amount of time they were waiting and it also emphasises the silence, this build the tension for the reader because he is waiting for something to happen. The author then uses the word 'suddenly' this builds up the tension but it then uses the words 'all was silence once more' this makes it back to normal but still increases the tension for the reader. Manna Khan 11E 03/05/07 ...read more.

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